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  1. #1
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    Bike recommendation for a beginner...

    Hi all, the last time I rode bicycle before last month was...30+ years ago! I got a cheap brand new Shogun MTB to ride around the neighborhood last month and I like it so I'm now looking at getting a better road bike to ride more.

    I read as much as I could on the web about road bike, Shimano, shifter, frame etc... but I'm still learning.

    I'm 5'8, 31" inseam, 167 lbs male.

    I went to REI and sat on their $1300 ARD 1.2 MEDIUM and it fits me fine and I almost bought it on the spot but they didn't have one in stock and then I got cold feet as I didn't really know what it has.

    Any recommendation for a < $1000 road bike from the web? Or < $500 to get my feet wet? Yes, I read about BD but they have so many models that I don't even know where to start.

    I have been maintaining my own cars and motorcycles so I think I should be able to handle the assembly/tune-up/maintenance of a bicycle, after learning more on the web :-) I already have lots of air tools and metric tools and now it's probably a good excuse to get some more new ones for the home garage to work on bicycle.

    Thank you so much in advance.
    mike-
    Last edited by mcs001; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    Furthermore:

    - I really like to buy from the web and have it shipped to my house, instead of having to deal with a local LBS. It's not really about saving money, but about saving the hassle of having to deal with the LBS people.

    - If I buy from places like Amazon, bikesdirect etc..., do I need to disassemble everything, then grease, oil, reassemble before 1st ride? At the minimum, do they usually grease the BB/crank, headset, wheel hubs etc... before they ship?

    - Also, how's the warranty handled if we buy from the web? I don't mind if I have to remove the bad part myself and ship it out to get a brand new replacement. I just don't know what's the standard practice of bicycle warranty.

    Thank you again!

  3. #3
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    Frst of all, you will NEVER, ever need to use an air tool on a road bike.

    Secondly, all these questions will be answered at your local bike shop.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I know I don't need air tools on bicycle.
    I don't want to go to LBS, that's why I ask here.

  5. #5
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    "get your feet wet" with a nice vintage lightweight, and you can thank me later.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. I'm looking...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs001 View Post
    Furthermore:

    - I really like to buy from the web and have it shipped to my house, instead of having to deal with a local LBS. It's not really about saving money, but about saving the hassle of having to deal with the LBS people.

    - If I buy from places like Amazon, bikesdirect etc..., do I need to disassemble everything, then grease, oil, reassemble before 1st ride? At the minimum, do they usually grease the BB/crank, headset, wheel hubs etc... before they ship?

    - Also, how's the warranty handled if we buy from the web? I don't mind if I have to remove the bad part myself and ship it out to get a brand new replacement. I just don't know what's the standard practice of bicycle warranty.

    Thank you again!
    Getting a shipped bike, you'll be getting essentially the same thing as the LBS does when it receives inventory. IOW, you'll need to do the work of "dealer prep" the LBS does to get its inventory floor-ready.

    You shouldn't need to dissemble everything, and major assemblies are usually greased up, etc., when they leave the factory. Pedals and bars will need mounting, some cabling may not be attached, and wheels, brakes, derailleurs, and bearing assemblies may not be adjusted precisely (or may be--this varies by manufacturer/vendor, or at least used to when last I monkeyed around in a LBS--factory-shipped conditions may have improved since).

    Personally, I thought that REI ride was pretty nice for the coin and what your needs seem to be, and the store should do all that dealer prep for you. Some may want to quibble about the generic wheels, or the mechanical brakes, or the aluminum frame, but from what you say about your riding thus far, I don't think you'd really be held back by the bicycle's limitations, at least for awhile.
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  8. #8
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    Thank you, xxl, for the advise. I appreciate it.

    I have never worked on a bicycle, but I have been doing my own maintenance/service/repair on my own cars and motorcycles for the last 20+ years so I think I should be ok to work on a bicycle :-) After all, a bicycle doesn't need a 1000-dollar tire changer to just change and balance the tires like my motorcycles :-) (I even tried to buy a brand new motorcycle in the crate so I can assemble/prep it myself to make sure everything is right, but nobody would sell it to me that way for liability reason)

    When buying from a LBS (including REI), if the bike needs warranty service, do you just take it back to the LBS? Instead of having to deal with individual manufacturer for the defective parts like buying from Amazon/Bikesdirect?

    Thanks again. I appreciate your help!
    mike-

  9. #9
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs001 View Post
    Thank you, xxl, for the advise. I appreciate it.

    I have never worked on a bicycle, but I have been doing my own maintenance/service/repair on my own cars and motorcycles for the last 20+ years so I think I should be ok to work on a bicycle :-) After all, a bicycle doesn't need a 1000-dollar tire changer to just change and balance the tires like my motorcycles :-) (I even tried to buy a brand new motorcycle in the crate so I can assemble/prep it myself to make sure everything is right, but nobody would sell it to me that way for liability reason)

    When buying from a LBS (including REI), if the bike needs warranty service, do you just take it back to the LBS? Instead of having to deal with individual manufacturer for the defective parts like buying from Amazon/Bikesdirect?

    Thanks again. I appreciate your help!
    mike-
    Not sure how warranty work would be processed, I'd ask REI, or the LBS if you decide to go that route. If you go online, the vendor should be able to answer an e-mail about that.

    Re working on bikes, there are a lot of DIY videos on youtube, and this site is useful:

    https://www.parktool.com/
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  10. #10
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    If you want to get the most bang for your buck, buy a used bike on Craigslist. That way, if you decide you don't really like riding as much as you thought, you won't feel so bad about what you spent.

    Like cars, the second you leave the dealer with your new bike its worth almost nothing, so you might as well let someone else take the hit of buying new. You also have to take into account accessories, which can add up in $$$.... a helmet, several pairs of bike shorts, gloves, glasses, shoes, etc.

    The hardest part about buying used if you're not an experienced cyclist is getting a bike that fits. I'd guess you'd fit a 54 or 56 cm road frame based on your height, but that's purely a guess. The one advantage of buying a bike from an LBS is they should help you get a bike that actually fits, although that's not always the case (My local LBS wants to charge extra to get a "bike fit" to make sure the bike you buy actually fits.)

    You're right... if you work on cars and the like, working on a bicycle will be easy and it'll give you an excuse to buy even more tools A small torque wrench is your friend when working on a bicycle.

  11. #11
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    Bulls bike on eBay.
    I got desert falcon pro a few months ago. Itís full Ultegra set for $600.
    unfortunately, itís sold out but they have carbon road bikes which is nigh hawk.
    105 groupset is $900 and Ultegra set is $1200.
    recently eBay had 15% coupon so if you can wait a month for another eBay promotion, you might be able to get around $800 or $1100. Unfortunately they donít offer warranty but you might able be able to buy 2 year warranty through square trade.
    The package was perfectly well packed and easy to assemble.
    also they have cheaper road bike model which has decent components if you donít want to spend much money. Not sure they still have your size since their bikes are mostly gone. Seller is bbcalameda
    but they are bulls bike USA.

    I thought about their carbon bike but I am happy with aluminum frame especially weight.
    almost identical weight to their Ultegra carbon setup so I decided to save money instead of going for carbon bike. I already have two MTB and this is my first road bike.
    so far so good.

  12. #12
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    Thank you for your reply. I sincerely appreciate it.
    I do have several SnapOn torque wrenches from foot-lb to in-lb to work on my cars/motorcycles. Yes, I always torque all the bolts to specs and I doubt LBS use calibrated torque wrenches to assemble a bike :-) (may be they do, but almost all car/motorcycle mechanics don't)

    I do look at Craiglist and honestly, I don't know enough to buy from Craiglist. I have no clue if a "bike ABC has XYZ wheels and BLABLABLA crankset" is a good bike or not.

    I do think about accessories and gears, bicycling requires at least a lot less gears than my motorcycling :-)

    I think you are right about sizing. The one I tried at REI was MEDIUM and comparing its geometry to other bikes, it falls in between 52cm and 54cm depending on the manufacturers. I'll go by the REACH and STACK and STAND_OVER_HEIGHT if I need to.

    Working on bicycle at least won't be as physical demanding as working on cars/motorcycles for sure! :-)

    Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    If you want to get the most bang for your buck, buy a used bike on Craigslist. That way, if you decide you don't really like riding as much as you thought, you won't feel so bad about what you spent.

    Like cars, the second you leave the dealer with your new bike its worth almost nothing, so you might as well let someone else take the hit of buying new. You also have to take into account accessories, which can add up in $$$.... a helmet, several pairs of bike shorts, gloves, glasses, shoes, etc.

    The hardest part about buying used if you're not an experienced cyclist is getting a bike that fits. I'd guess you'd fit a 54 or 56 cm road frame based on your height, but that's purely a guess. The one advantage of buying a bike from an LBS is they should help you get a bike that actually fits, although that's not always the case (My local LBS wants to charge extra to get a "bike fit" to make sure the bike you buy actually fits.)

    You're right... if you work on cars and the like, working on a bicycle will be easy and it'll give you an excuse to buy even more tools A small torque wrench is your friend when working on a bicycle.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out. I haven't looked at eBay for bikes at all. I definitely will check out the $600 Ultegra!



    Quote Originally Posted by Kimguroo View Post
    Bulls bike on eBay.
    I got desert falcon pro a few months ago. Itís full Ultegra set for $600.
    unfortunately, itís sold out but they have carbon road bikes which is nigh hawk.
    105 groupset is $900 and Ultegra set is $1200.
    recently eBay had 15% coupon so if you can wait a month for another eBay promotion, you might be able to get around $800 or $1100. Unfortunately they donít offer warranty but you might able be able to buy 2 year warranty through square trade.
    The package was perfectly well packed and easy to assemble.
    also they have cheaper road bike model which has decent components if you donít want to spend much money. Not sure they still have your size since their bikes are mostly gone. Seller is bbcalameda
    but they are bulls bike USA.

    I thought about their carbon bike but I am happy with aluminum frame especially weight.
    almost identical weight to their Ultegra carbon setup so I decided to save money instead of going for carbon bike. I already have two MTB and this is my first road bike.
    so far so good.

  14. #14
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    I think I might rescind my original recommendation and second Kimguroo's vote for one of those BULLS bikes on eBay (especially if you wait for an eBay coupon)!

    I have no idea if the BULLS frame set is any good, but those prices are extremely good for a carbon framed bike with Shimano 105 and Ultegra group sets. Until you know you like road riding, stick with the Shimano 105 equipped bike... it's a great group set that'll last as long as you care to own it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs001 View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out. I haven't looked at eBay for bikes at all. I definitely will check out the $600 Ultegra!
    Unfortunately, desert falcon pro is gone. It was very popular. It was priced at $700 but as soon as eBay promotion started it sold out that day. It was two-three months ago.
    Still $900 Carbon 105 night hawk 1 or $1200 Ultegra is very nice price.

    bulls bike is less known company in US but they are better known company in Europe.
    most of remaining bikes are two-three years old bikes but it has really good value.
    I have no idea but looks like they try to get out of bike business in us or just cleaning their old stock bikes. There were so many good deals especially MTBs and those are gone pretty quickly.

    I was was very lucky that I got desert falcon pro for $600 with eBay promotion coupon.
    Only my complain is the bike is race oriented bike so cassette and crankset is 50/34 and 11-25 because there are Many steep hills around my neighborhood.
    I am leaning towards to get 11-30 cassette but not sure short cage rear derailleur will fit without changing anything including chain.

    Night hawak 2 gear is my preferred gear though but night hawk 2 and desert falcon pro difference was $500 and only 0.01 lbs difference so I went for desert falcon.

    Now I am looking at better wheelset around 1600g for under $300.
    Thought about Chinese carbon set but I donít think it will be good idea for rim brakes.
    Here is a pic of my desert falcon pro when I received it.
    I got new pedal, seatpost and saddle after I took this pic.


    Most of people said that 105 set is very nice so night hawk 1 might be not a bad idea for $900 (possibly $800) but night hawk 2 has 52/36 crankset and 11-28 cassette which is 105. 1 lbs lighter but $300 more.
    If you are concern about warranty, you can buy square trade 2 year warranty. Honestly I have not deal with them so I am not sure how easy to claim the warranty from them.
    probably warranty price is around $50.
    if you buy MTB, warranty should be ďmustĒ but I wonít do jump with road bike so I did not buy the warranty haha. I am not a hard bike rider so I donít have any frame problem with my full suspension MTB (2008) and carbon rigid 29er bike so far (2015).

  16. #16
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    I just checked out Bulls bike on eBay by bbcalameda and the bikes look very nice!
    However, I'm put off by no warranty (why no warranty if new bikes?) and also the seller said "
    We are not responsible for normal wear-and-tear parts (tires, tubes or cables)." Not sure what it meant but sounds like the bike may come with worn tires/tubes/cables to begin with?

    Also, lots of positive feedbacks were left by the same person.

    The seller is located in Lynwood and is about 30 min from where I live. If I buy from him/her I'll ask if I can pick up in person.

    Thanks again!




    Quote Originally Posted by Kimguroo View Post
    Bulls bike on eBay.
    I got desert falcon pro a few months ago. Itís full Ultegra set for $600.
    unfortunately, itís sold out but they have carbon road bikes which is nigh hawk.
    105 groupset is $900 and Ultegra set is $1200.
    recently eBay had 15% coupon so if you can wait a month for another eBay promotion, you might be able to get around $800 or $1100. Unfortunately they donít offer warranty but you might able be able to buy 2 year warranty through square trade.
    The package was perfectly well packed and easy to assemble.
    also they have cheaper road bike model which has decent components if you donít want to spend much money. Not sure they still have your size since their bikes are mostly gone. Seller is bbcalameda
    but they are bulls bike USA.

    I thought about their carbon bike but I am happy with aluminum frame especially weight.
    almost identical weight to their Ultegra carbon setup so I decided to save money instead of going for carbon bike. I already have two MTB and this is my first road bike.
    so far so good.

  17. #17
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    Wow, very nice bike there! Thanks for the pic.

    Thanks for your post, I never knew to look at the gears!!! There are hilly streets around my area that I like to try one day so now I need to look at the gearing too! Thank you!

    I just checked out Bulls bike's web site at : https://www.bullsbikesusa.com/road-c-1_5.html

    and their 52cm is comparable to the REI ARD 1.2 MEDIUM that I sat on. Their 54cm is too tall for my inseam of 31".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimguroo View Post
    I was was very lucky that I got desert falcon pro for $600 with eBay promotion coupon.
    Only my complain is the bike is race oriented bike so cassette and crankset is 50/34 and 11-25 because there are Many steep hills around my neighborhood.
    I am leaning towards to get 11-30 cassette but not sure short cage rear derailleur will fit without changing anything including chain.

    Night hawak 2 gear is my preferred gear though but night hawk 2 and desert falcon pro difference was $500 and only 0.01 lbs difference so I went for desert falcon.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs001 View Post
    I just checked out Bulls bike on eBay by bbcalameda and the bikes look very nice!
    However, I'm put off by no warranty (why no warranty if new bikes?) and also the seller said "
    We are not responsible for normal wear-and-tear parts (tires, tubes or cables)." Not sure what it meant but sounds like the bike may come with worn tires/tubes/cables to begin with?

    Also, lots of positive feedbacks were left by the same person.

    The seller is located in Lynwood and is about 30 min from where I live. If I buy from him/her I'll ask if I can pick up in person.

    Thanks again!



    Bikes are nothing wrong. Itís just old stock bikes.
    I donít think they will let you pick up your bike from their warehouse.
    many of companies do not allow personal pickup from their warehouse because of security issue.
    bikes are really well packed so you donít need to worry about it.
    if you are really concerning about warranty, you can buy bulls bikes from their website directly (bullsbikeusa.com). they will offer a warranty but prices are much higher even though they currently have 50% off deal. Night hawk 1 is listed $2300 so it will be $1150.
    unfortunately, you might need to pay tax since they are in CA...
    somewhat reason, they refuse to say eBay seller is bulls bike but looks like eBay seller is bulls bike haha.

    I was concerning that these bikes might be demo but as soon as I opened the box, it was brand new bike.
    The reason for multiple same feedback is.... buying multiple bikes from same buyers.
    everyone was very doubtful that the price is hard to believe. Early buyers started to have decent reviews and people started to buy their bikes then same buyer bought more expensive bikes or buying for friends or wife.

    BTW I think every bike Warranty does not cover wearable items such as tire, tube cable etc.

    good luck with your decision and let me know if you have any question regarding on bulls bike.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the reply. Yes, I just looked at the Bulls bikes on the manufacturer's web site and they sure look nice! I'm in CA so it'll cost me an additional 10% in tax if I buy from bbcalameda!




    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I think I might rescind my original recommendation and second Kimguroo's vote for one of those BULLS bikes on eBay (especially if you wait for an eBay coupon)!

    I have no idea if the BULLS frame set is any good, but those prices are extremely good for a carbon framed bike with Shimano 105 and Ultegra group sets. Until you know you like road riding, stick with the Shimano 105 equipped bike... it's a great group set that'll last as long as you care to own it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs001 View Post
    Wow, very nice bike there! Thanks for the pic.

    Thanks for your post, I never knew to look at the gears!!! There are hilly streets around my area that I like to try one day so now I need to look at the gearing too! Thank you!

    I just checked out Bulls bike's web site at : https://www.bullsbikesusa.com/road-c-1_5.html

    and their 52cm is comparable to the REI ARD 1.2 MEDIUM that I sat on. Their 54cm is too tall for my inseam of 31".
    Honestly, This is my first road bike and still learning how to ride better.
    I am really bad at right gearing especially cross chain shifting and late gear shifting haha
    When I got the bike, I had no idea of gearing too then When I started to ride steep hills, I immediately knew I need more easier way to ride. My MTBs has triple crankset and especially 29er is much easier to ride steep hills then I looked at my gear.
    bit surprised with 50/34 and 11-25 cassette. Still not sure I will be okay with 11-30 cassette. Just donít want to spend extra money to buy 11-32 cassette and new medium rear derailleur.
    As soon as I reached middle of steep hill area, I was in 25 cog and no where to go.
    even I thought about stopping. Embarrassingly one lady passed by me then I thought I need to change something then started to search more so changing cassette might be cheapest and easiest thing to do first.

  21. #21
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    THank you so much for your reply. You are right, on this page of BULLS bike web site it even has a link directly to bbcalameda on eBay:

    https://www.bullsbikesusa.com/demo-b....html?CDpath=4

    It was listed under "demo bikes" though.

    Thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimguroo View Post
    Bikes are nothing wrong. Itís just old stock bikes.
    I donít think they will let you pick up your bike from their warehouse.
    many of companies do not allow personal pickup from their warehouse because of security issue.
    bikes are really well packed so you donít need to worry about it.
    if you are really concerning about warranty, you can buy bulls bikes from their website directly (bullsbikeusa.com). they will offer a warranty but prices are much higher even though they currently have 50% off deal. Night hawk 1 is listed $2300 so it will be $1150.
    unfortunately, you might need to pay tax since they are in CA...
    somewhat reason, they refuse to say eBay seller is bulls bike but looks like eBay seller is bulls bike haha.

    I was concerning that these bikes might be demo but as soon as I opened the box, it was brand new bike.
    The reason for multiple same feedback is.... buying multiple bikes from same buyers.
    everyone was very doubtful that the price is hard to believe. Early buyers started to have decent reviews and people started to buy their bikes then same buyer bought more expensive bikes or buying for friends or wife.

    BTW I think every bike Warranty does not cover wearable items such as tire, tube cable etc.

    good luck with your decision and let me know if you have any question regarding on bulls bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs001 View Post
    Furthermore:

    - I really like to buy from the web and have it shipped to my house, instead of having to deal with a local LBS. It's not really about saving money, but about saving the hassle of having to deal with the LBS people.
    It sounds like you had a really bad experience with an LBS. I wouldn't dismiss all LBS's. There are a wide range of LBS's from dismal to exemplary. I happen to be blessed with the latter, but have certainly experienced the former. Looking at your profile, you live in the LA area. I can't imagine you can't find a good bike shop in such a populated area. Part of shopping for your bike is shopping for your bike shop.

    Personally, I would not buy a road bike without being able to test ride it first. You can't test ride a bike over the internet, nor can you get fitted on the internet. And even if someone like Bikesdirect.com has warranty service, it's a hassle, extra downtime and shipping costs if you have to ship the bike back to them.

    I consider REI as one of the better big box sports stores. So if you are really hell bent on avoiding an LBS, REI's Coop f.k.a. Novara are actually pretty decent bikes for the buck and their service and return policy is superb. You could certainly buy one of their bikes online, but definitely test ride first.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- Aaron Levenstein



  23. #23
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    Thanks, Lombard, for your advise.
    Yes I'm in Los Angeles. I'm sure there are good LBS around if I look hard :-) I just thought I like to do everything from the web :-)

    REI sure sounds like a great one. I read that people can even return/exchange a bike within a year.



    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs001 View Post
    Thanks, Lombard, for your advise.
    Yes I'm in Los Angeles. I'm sure there are good LBS around if I look hard :-) I just thought I like to do everything from the web :-)

    REI sure sounds like a great one. I read that people can even return/exchange a bike within a year.



    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    Yes, you can return an item to REI within a year and get a full refund or exchange. They have a very liberal policy. People do take advantage of it. Don't be one of those people.

  25. #25
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    I almost never returned anything, even I got the wrong one. My wife hates me.


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